Cherries are small, red colored fruits belonging to the Prunus family. They are fleshy fruits with a stone (or seed) in the center and have a sweet, tart taste (at the same time). Cherries come in two varieties - sweet and tart. These fruits are rich in antioxidants, which are in the form of anthocyanins (the coloring agent of berries). Both the sweet and tart variety are rich sources of antioxidants, but it has been found that the tart variety has more concentration of antioxidants and phenolics, as compared to the sweet ones.
Apart from the natural anthocyanins, the fruit also contains compounds like COX-1 and COX-2, which inhibit pain. Hence, a research being conducted to check if cherries can provide relief from joint pain and other inflammatory diseases, came out with a positive result that cherry juice for joint pain is indeed effective and can relieve it and reduce the inflammation in the muscles. Since cherries have a shorter shelf life, they are consumed in the form of cherry juice and concentrate, which are easily available in the market and last longer.
As we have seen earlier, cherries (both the varieties) and cherry juice are a rich source of antioxidants, which fight the free radicals in the body and also keep various infections and diseases at bay. Tart cherry supplements are easily available in the market, in the form of capsules and concentrate, so they are more preferred in comparison to the sweet versions. There are also numerous cherry juice benefits, that help maintain the overall health of the body and ensure smooth functioning of the various organ systems.
- Gout is a disorder, where crystals of uric acid form in the joints, restricting movement and causing pain. Drinking cherry juice for gout is effective, since anthocyanins dissolve the crystals and reduce pain in the joints. Drinking cherry juice also helps reduce inflammation and swelling in the joints.
- Arthritis is another inflammatory disease which can be treated with the help of cherry juice. Anthocyanins act as a pain killer. The effect is similar to taking aspirin or any other over-the-counter pain killers, hence cherry juice for arthritis is recommended for individuals suffering from this inflammatory disease.
- Eating fresh or dried cherries or drinking cherry juice is known to keep colon cancer at bay. Individuals on a regular cherry juice diet are at a lower risk of getting Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, cataract, etc. The diet also plays an active role in protecting and ensuring the smooth functioning of the cardiovascular system.
- Cherries are also a rich source of beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin A, proteins, and many other minerals. Hence many health care practitioners recommend cherry juice. This juice can also be mixed with other fruit juices for extra nutrients and taste.
- Regular consumption of cherry juice reduces the risk of stroke and other health disorders related with the brain. It increases the absorption of oxygen from the blood and ensures equal distribution to all parts of the body, especially the brain.
Drinking concentrated cherry juice (half a glass or two tablespoons) twice a day, daily will reduce inflammation in the joints and speed up the process of recovery. The results, however, may vary from individual to individual according to their condition.